Croatian coast walking tours, self guided

“Our only self-guided 7 day walking holiday on the Dalmatian coast, taking in the islands and Dubrovnik, with luggage transferred from one place to the next for you.”

Highlights

Konavle Valley | Dubrovnik | Sipan Island | Mjet Island and national park

Description of Croatian coast walking tours, self guided

The Croatian Coast is blessed with some truly beautiful natural scenery and if you’re looking for walks in Croatia that take in the lush green islands of the Adriatic as well as the cultural highlights of the country’s coastal crown jewel, Dubrovnik, then here’s where you start.

This seven day self-guided walking itinerary features three of the country’s southern islands, Korcula, Mljet, Sipan, and allows walkers to immerse themselves in outstanding natural scenery as well as the region’s fascinating cultural customs and rich medieval history.

Cultural sightseeing blended with moderate hiking in Croatia allows travellers to experience the best of both worlds and includes first-rate accommodation, straightforward map directions and local recommendations as part and parcel of the self-guided walking tour.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Dubrovnik airport to the green hillsides and verdant valleys of Konavle, located southeast of the medieval walled city. Konavle is well-known for its rural countryside charm as well as its fantastic cliff-top views, sprawling vineyards and traditional old fashioned villages. Your first overnight stay will be in the small town of Gruda set within the heart of the Konavle countryside.
Day 2: Today's maximum walking distance: 10kms. Explore the beautiful Konavle area on foot as you discover the scenic paths that lead over hillsides from one picture postcard village to the next. This is your chance to cross the valley and head into the forests and vineyards to where the Ljuta River fuels several traditional water mills. Overnight stay in Gruda.
Day 3: Transfer to Croatia's iconic coastal citadel Dubrovnik where red roofs and medieval monuments make for a historic backdrop to today's two hour guided orientation and sightseeing tour. In the afternoon you'll be able to choose between free time in Dubrovnik or an optional half day visit to Lokrum Island and its impressive botanical garden and Benedictine monastery. Overnight stay in B&B accommodation in Dubrovnik.
Day 4: Self guided walking trip on the Lopud island, up to 12km.
This morning we take ferry from Dubrovnik port to the Lopud island, sail takes about 45 min, for the return (in the afternoon hours) we have several departures from the Lopud port to Dubrovnik.
Lopud reach Mediterranean vegetation, mild climate with plenty sunny days, old stone houses, churches and number of noble palaces. Lopud is perfect gateway from Dubrovnik for a day hike, there are several hiking trails, or big one that makes loop around the island of 12 km where you can discover old forts, churches, botanical garden, the magnificent views over the cliffs… it is also famous for having the one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik.
Lopud is one, centrally located, in the group of the Elaphite islands; it is well connected with everyday ferry lines with Dubrovnik port. The main town and biggest place is Lopud, settled in picturesque bay with Franciscan monastery and water front surround with palm trees and citruses.
Hiking trail starts from the Lopud port and follows the streets and steps outside of the town to magnificent view point where is fort Kastio and Sv. Ivan church, after that goes along the beach of Šunj and above cliffs on the southern side of the island… this trail finish in the town Lopud, port area where you have started it.
Accommodation: B&B
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 5: Mljet Island national park is where you'll be heading to today as you take the two hour ferry journey from the port of Gruz. The self-guided walking route starts at the village of Polace, famed for its Roman ruins, and leads past saline lakes, traditional villages and whispering pine forests before returning to Polace for your overnight stay on Mljet.
Day 6: Your second day on Mljet lets you make the most of the island's verdant green landscapes as well as offering a chance to dip your toe into the saline lakes which are always a little warmer than the crystal clear waters of the surrounding Adriatic. Alternative excursions to recommended walking routes include a small boat ride to the nearby island of Saint Mary where a 12th century Benedictine monastery makes for a focal point before returning back to Mljet for your final night's stay on the island.
Day 7: Your penultimate day finds you returning to the UNESCO city of Dubrovnik where you're free to walk the walls, undertake cultural sightseeing or just indulge in people watching at leisure. Final overnight stay in Dubrovnik.
Day 8: Bid the medieval walls a fond farewell before transferring to your chosen departure point (airport, port or bus terminal) after breakfast.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

Departures can be arranged at any time from 1st April to 1st November
Our top tip:
Tomi offers other activities, so for an extra kayak or mountain bike session, just ask.
Trip type:
Self-guided walking.
Activity level:
Moderate. Average 15 kms/day.
Accomm:
Small locally owned b&b’s.
Included:
Accommodation, all breakfasts, luggage transfers, Dubrovnik walking guide, ferries.
Meals:
Average main course Ł8. Plenty of local produce for picnics.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge €105 for own room.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Croatian coast walking tours, self guided

Traveling on foot, you will explore beautiful Croatian islands and historical towns. The area where we provide our holiday is a very rich in historical and cultural sights and protected environments (forests, vineyards, sea shores, UNESCO towns, etc). These regions are very fragile and sensitive parts of Croatia's unspoiled coast; there you can find stone and sandy vineyards, a thousand year old olive trees, clear and blue bays, few hundred years old villages and towns protected by UNESCO.

All our travelers are informed and encouraged to respect the environment, to buy local food, souvenirs, use public transportation that benefits locals. We provide this trip as the small group holiday in off seasons time, we try as much as we can to reduce all negative impacts to this region, to show all the beauty to our guests and to give more back to the local community. On this trip we provide direct benefits to the local communities, from the accommodation organized at local families, using local guides and local transportation services, to the food and beverages produced on local farms.

We try to do our contribution of preserving the environment and saving it for future generations. We emphasize principles of responsible and sustainable travel in each level of our business: "Minimize the bad and maximize the good impacts of tourism to protect the environment and socio-cultural diversity as well as achieving positive economic results for the local community".

Tourism is not just about traveling, meeting people, different cultures... we have to see tourism as one of the world's largest industries too. Besides positive impacts, modern tourism can have negative environmental and socio-cultural impacts on: water, natural beauty of the country, beaches and islands, plants, birds and animals, traditional ways of life and cultural heritage. Principles of responsible travel can sustain destinations and local communities for the future.

Our efforts are present in following aspects of our business:

- As transportation is very important in tourism, we support the idea of green transport; cleaner vehicle options which helps areas to stay cleaner.

- Seasonal pressures: we do marketing campaigns to spread guests throughout all seasons (spring, autumn or winter) not just through summer.

- Wherever possible we use accommodation providers which support efforts of good environmental practices such as recycling and conservation of water and energy.

- Using local employees, guides, accommodation providers and transportation services, we ensure that financial benefits remain in the local community.

- We employ local people, our accommodation is mostly provided in local run guest houses, cottages, or apartments; Our guides educate and inform guests on the tour about local culture, history, habits.

- On all our tours we use local produce and provide local-style meals, and we encourage our guests to try local dishes and delicacies. We support local economy and small business by supporting locally owned shops, restaurants, and using local guide services.

Our environmental policy

- We used recycled paper. We recycle all our waste paper (brochures, etc)

- Our correspondence and promotion is carried out via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities.

- We support different local ecological associations and our staff was directly involved in afforestation (planting of pine trees in Dubrovnik area after fire disaster in summer 2007).

What you can do:

- Be informed about the cultural customs and environmental pressures on Croatia.

- In many places fresh water is a very precious commodity and should not be wasted, so use a minimum for showering and washing, especially when you are on islands, tap water is drinkable throughout Croatia.

- Turn out the lights or air condition when you leave your room, use the public transport as much as you can, minimize your waste generally

- Pick up your litter, never leave any trace in nature, when you are in rural areas please stay to the trails and don't damage or take any plants or flowers.

- Remember that your travel destination is someones home.

- Try to learn and use some Croatian worlds for example: dobro dosli - welcome.


Reviews of Croatian coast walking tours, self guided

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 05 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


In Dubrovnik we met our driver, Darko, who transported us to Gruda. Along the way we learned about how our hiking trip was arranged and some history of both Croatia and the villages we were to hike from. Arriving in Gruda, we were delighted to find that our accommodations were in a spectacular old villa owned by a charming couple who immediately made us feel welcome. Our first two day hikes took us into the Konavle countryside with great views of valley floor and Adriatic Sea. These two days set the stage for all the following days: whether in Dubrovnik or the islands of Sipan and Mljet, our accommodations were first rate, the hikes all spectacular with easy to follow maps, and recommendations from Darko about restaurants and places of interest along our routes.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Clothing should be light weight and comfortable. Layers are best for changing conditions. We hiked in mid-May and brought packable rain jackets that came in handy for both light rain and wind while traveling by ferry to the islands. Everyone of our party of six worn sturdy, lightweight shoes: something like trail-running shoes worked great.

At our accommodations, we ofter found local liquors available for our enjoyment. Reciprocally, we always made sure to leave behind some of our own purchases.

We found all of the hikes to be reasonable in terms of distance and difficulty, but all six of us are experienced hikers. To take full advantage of the hiking itinerary, people should be in moderately good physical condition.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This was absolutely the reason why we choose this itinerary. Our hosts were all locals of many generations. In Gruda, for instance, our hosts actually maintained a museum in their vast cellar were we learned more than we ever imagine about the Croatian people, their culture and history. We hiked through national parks that reinforced conservation through recycling and care for the local habitat. As in Gruda, our hosts in Dubrovnik and Mlject Island were wonderful people, enthusiastic about visit and the hiking itinerary. Besides Darko, who ferried us to the various locations, our guide for the day hike in Dubrovnik was a local resident and wealth of historical knowledge. Their mastery of the English language was amazing as was the case for all of our hosts at our various accommodations.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Our experience with Responsible Travel was A++ and we would look first to them when considering other travel whether foreign or domestic. For anyone considering a trip to Croatia, we would highly recommend it. We traveled the entire length of the country by rental call until reaching Dubrovnik. Spectacular countryside and very welcoming people. We couldn't have been more pleased with our hiking trip and all the very interesting people that we came upon as a result.

Reviewed on 04 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The walk on Mljet in the national park up to the top, with stunning views out over lakes, hills and the Adriatic; the best tuna steak ever from the small restaurant in Lapad; the war photography in the Dubrovnik gallery - the list goes on!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This tour operator is great, and one of the things we especially appreciated was their flexibility. So in retrospect we'd have asked for a 'free day' at each
of the locations they arranged for our walks, so as to have more time to mooch around and explore.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We especially sought - and enjoyed - staying in small, family-run establishments where we were able to chat, to learn and to socialise. This made it more
interesting for us, as opposed to somewhat anonymous hotel-staying, while ensuring our money benefitted local people and the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, and we've already started recommending it to friends and family.

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hard to say - each part was very different and we must admit they were all memorable. Mljet is simply gorgeous, and the experience of its salt lake swimming ( utterly private, any place you choose, all along your walks) was wonderful. Konavle was very special for the hospitality of Miho and Katje, their museum, their rocky beach, and stories of a 500-year old family history.
Jelena was an excellent tour guide for Dubrovnik - a good historian utterly undaunted by the relentless questions from two old academics like ourselves. Darko and Mario as our drivers were not only punctual and efficient but also provided loads of background information about Croatia. Note- the problems with Sipan directions, noted by many other reviewers, have all been fixed with the substitution of the island Lopud - a fantastic choice which we thoroughly enjoyed, with good walks and excellent sandy beach swimming.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We were happy that we brought our walking boots, as much of the ground is rough. We travelled in first week of September and it was plus 30 degrees, so we were grateful to our 50+ sun screen and swimming cossies. We also were glad that we booked an extra week afterwards to visit Split and other islands, including an extra day in Dubrovnik, as the trip just whetted our appetites for more.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The holiday provider really does the bit in reaching out to small family run local bnbs, and particularly in bringing tourists out to the lovely valley of Konavle which is not likely on many tourist wish lists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Top notch. We hope to book with the holiday provider again, through Rosy. We will definitely return to Croatia for another of their walking holidays.

Reviewed on 30 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our stay on Mjert. A very good B&B on this beautiful island, with Sipan a close second.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We suggest that people combine the two walks on Mjert. We started with the shorter walk that took us on to the top of the hill. From there, we went down the rough track (which was easy to walk) to the village by the sea, where there is very nice cafe, right on the shore. From there, we continued on until we intersected the longer walk, which we joined and completed, including the optional circuit at the 'far end'. A really memorable walk.

(I hope this is clear, but I do not have the map so am unable to remember the names. If you need more information, please don't hesitate to email me - johngc66@gmail.com)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We benefited enormously from the local people in all locations, including all of your very helpful and friendly staff, the owners of the places where we stayed and the people in the bars and restaurants. On Mjert, a small group of local men sang lovely songs in the bar beside the sea - the one opposite the first restaurant on the right, approaching from the B&B (great food too). Really memorable singing and a lovely memory.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really wonderful. The not-always-reliable weather forecast did not matter - I suspect making forecasts is especially difficult in this mountainous region.

We would like to make some suggestions ( helpful, we hope) about some of the
instructions. They should make it easier for UK people to understand:

1 Walk Tusici - Gruda - Radovcici - seas coast: It would be better to replace the word 'Macadam' with 'unmade-up road' and replace 'asphalt' with 'tarmac'.

Paragraph 5 of the instructions - beginning with 'Follow macadam road and
serpentines...' were impossible for us to understand. We tried three times (taking an hour) and eventually found that we should have just turned right down the main, tarmac road and head for Coral.

On the next page, in paragraph 1 starting 'after 80 m.....' it would be helpful to say that one 'rejoins the railroad' - although 'disused rail track' might be a better
phrase than 'railroad'.

2 Walk Sipan Island: paragraph 3 beginning 'Continue....'. Instead of '50m', the sign by the road says 500m, which confused us! So we walked on towards the sea, way beyond the church on our left as we thought there must be another church, 450m further on! In the event, it was a very beautiful additional walk so no harm was done.

Thank you once again for a very wonderful holiday. You can be sure that we will
encourage friends to use your company.

Best wishes

John and Louise Goss-Custard

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the diversity of the Croatian countryside - from the coast, to the inland and its islands.Croatia has stunning natural beauty and warm, welcoming people.

The transfers from Tomi and his team were very well orchestrated.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring mosquito repellent! Also be prepared to make adjustments to the directions
provided. One time we had to divert due to a bull in the field - he looked a bit too ready to charge :)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We very much enjoyed staying with local hosts and having the opportunity to interact with them and learn about Croatia. The hosts provided seasonal fruits for breakfasts, often home-grown as well as home-made jams. The hosts also were helpful in providing tips on where to eat locally and what sights to enjoy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It exceeded our expectations! We loved it. The walking was a great way to engage with the countryside and view local life. The days on Mljet was very relaxing.

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Enjoying Croatia its culture, people and its natural beauty.I had an absolute ball and everything went to plan thanks to Tomi and his team.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Gain a detailed understanding of the location to take advantage of opportunities that are available to optimise your stay.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so probably my only contribution is an economic one that provides employment an income.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really great, exceeded my expectations.

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Too many to mention! We absolutely loved swimming off the nearly-empty beach in turquoise water in one of our days in Konavle, we loved the amazing dinner in a private home that the b&b owner in Konavle organised for us, we loved getting the cable car up over Dubrovnik and watching the sun set and the lights of the city go on, and we loved all three (very different but each fabulous in their own way) b&bs. I think Mijet would have been spectacular, but unfortunately we had a thunderstorm the say we were there (didn't stop us doing a 20km walk though!).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a really fabulous holiday if you want to combine walking with seeing
the local area, swimming, or relaxing in beautiful scenery. If you want dawn
to dusk walking, this trip is probably not for you, as the suggested routes are
generally somewhere between 8 and 12 Km per day (one day we managed 20 by
combining two options).

The other thing I would suggest is that travelers be aware what they are in for
at the end of the season. We traveled from 24th to 31st Oct (the last week that the trip runs I believe) and in Mijet (where we had two nights) there was only one (expensive) restaurant open (though there was a shop and the b&b had a kitchen so we cooked one day), and all of the boats to take you across the lake, the options to rent kayaks, the ability to have lunch in the monastry all of which was on the guide, all of the restaurants... everything was closed. There wasn't a person in sight!! Mijet looked absolutely incredible, and if we were there earlier in the season when all of these things had been options, I think we would happily have spent much longer there.

Only other thing to say was that the walking instructions / directions for the
Sipan day were truly terrible!! We managed to get to our destination in the
end, but there are no distance references (so you dont know if it is 100m or
1000m until the next instruction) and there are references to things like "a wall on your right with olive trees" - do you know how many walls and olive groves there are on the island?! Also not really sure why we went to Sipan! The town at the other end of the island was pretty with nice swimming, but the walk was not very scenic! I would suggest a different island or another day in Mijet.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes! We absolutely loved the fact that we were in local b&bs rather than big
commercial hotels, and the dinner organised by the b&b owner in Konavle was one of our highlights.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fabulous break. I would definitely have given it 4 stars, were it not for the
points mentioned in number 2 (around things being closed in Mijet and Sipan
being a bit underwhelming!). The operator however was truly fabulous.
Absolutely 100% organised and hassle free; driven from a to b every time with
an on-time and friendly driver, all tickets sorted in advance, absolutely
everything sorted and smooth. Brilliant company, and a great holiday. I wish
I could be back there now!

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part was learning from our hostess and guides the impact of the Homeland War. The most exciting was the trip to Mljet.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for unsettled weather in early October. Read and study the directions for self-guided walks. At times the directions we had were hard to follow and on more than one occasion wrong.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our holiday benefitted local people by staying in privately run B & Bs. The environment benefitted by walking to see the country, rather that always using motorized transportation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


An inspiring holiday from the places visited to the better understanding of Croatian history and the horrible trials of the Balkan wars.

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our stay on Mljet was fabulous, the accommodation with Nada was in a beautiful spot, right next to the sea and walking through the forest to the salt lakes was glorious. Also the surprise of being taken round Katje and Miho's amazing house and joining them and their friends in the evening.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Two things. Reading up a bit on recent Balkan history could help understand what happened to the country.
Secondly, a pair of shoes you can go into the water in, say jelly shoes, would make the rocky beaches more comfortable!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The accommodation in the countryside, especially Nada's, used locally sourced food and all the hotels/bed and breakfasts seemed locally owned.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We loved it. The walking was relaxed and you could really walk as much or as little as you wanted. By the end of our week, when it was getting quite hot in the afternoon we just sat under an olive tree in the garden, ate a picnic, read a book and watched the yachts go by. Lovely

Reviewed on 31 May 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Getting under the skin of the city by staying at local B&B's. People were so welcoming and helpful. Walking around the Old City walls of Drubrovnik; visiting islands that seem to be in a time warp......

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for very variable weather even if the forecast is good; take waterproof/windproof and something warm as well as the usual shorts and T-shirt. Eating out was about the same as in the UK but generally better value.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Certainly by staying at privately owned apartments and homes and by booking direct with the company owner in Dubrovnik, we felt our money was going directly into local hands. Good use of ferries and local buses avoided the need for a hire car.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A well balanced interesting trip with fantastic scenery, history, wonderful people, excellent food and a good mix of countryside and city options.

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking the walls of Dubrovnik - what a stunning city - and swimming in the lake
on Mljet. Almost no litter, nor neon hoardings and not much in the way of
posterboards - lovely!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack your boots and swimming togs and get ready to have a great time.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The Croatian economy and people certainly benefited - hard working and impressive people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great - we had a wonderful time and are thinking when we can go back.

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